During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. Q: Will, you had quite a career in publishing before writing The End of Your Life Book Club.
WS: My childhood reading had a huge impact on me, and I think in many ways set me on a course to work in publishing. Q: The End of Your Life Book Club not only impacted my life and lead me to share more books and have more discussions with my family and friends, it also made my “to read” pile multiply exponentially. Just so our readers know, you were the SVP and Editor in Chief of Hyperion Books and before that, you worked at William Morrow. When my brother and sister and I were little, Mom would read us each our own book every night before sleep (when she wasn’t out or traveling for work). I buy books everywhere I go – and am particularly drawn to “staff recommends” in the great bookstores I visit. Cos we've got enough Podcast material to keep you occupied for roughly 2 years and 147 days.


Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born. Part of the joy of the nighttime reading ritual was selecting and discussing the books with Mom. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne—and we, their fellow readers—are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us.
So it was when I was very little that I started to understand the pleasure that comes not just from reading books, but also from choosing them and talking about them.
One thing we are really proud of at Cookstr is that we are the only site that shares its income with the people who create the recipes. And I even saw that one book blogger wrote that she’s going to spend a year reading all the books. I stayed an extra day in Kansas City to visit the great Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and wished I’d stayed at least one day past that so I could go back again, and also visit some of the other museums there. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love—The End of Your Life Book Club is also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others.


Because I always published cookbooks and am still involved with books through writing, I don’t feel like I’ve jumped from words to food – only somewhat shifted my focus. And I’ve heard wonderful things about WE NEED NEW NAMES by NuViolet Bulawayo and suspect that, based on the reviews, Mom would have rushed to the local bookstore to get a copy. I was livid with myself for being in Houston on a Monday and missing the chance to visit some of the awesome museums there.
My first favorite books were HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON by Crockett Johnson and THE STORY OF FERDINAND by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson.



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